Released in May 1977, the original Star Wars movie inaugurated the age of the movie blockbuster. It also redefined the use of cinematic special effects, creating a new textual universe that now stretches through three decades, two trilogies and generations of fascinated viewers. The body of critical analysis that has developed from this epic focuses primarily on the Star Wars universe as a contemporary myth. However, like any fiction, it must also be viewedand consequently analyzedas a product of the culture which created it.
The essays in this book analyze the Star Wars trilogies as a culturally and historically specific phenomenon. Moving away from the traditional myth-based criticism of the films, the essayists employ a cultural studies model to examine how this phenomenon intersects with social formations such as economics, technology, race and gender. Critical approaches are varied and include political and economic analysis informed by feminism, contemporary race theory, Marxism, new media studies and post-humanism. Among the topics covered are the connections between the trilogies and our own cultural landscape; the problematic issues of race and gender; and the thematic implications of Lucas’ presentation of technology.
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|Publisher:||McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers|
|Series:||Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy , #3|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)|
About the Author
Carl Silvio is an assistant professor of English at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York. He lives in Rochester. Tony M. Vinci is currently working toward his Ph.D. in English and Cultural Studies at Southern Illinois University. He is co-editor of Culture, Identities, and Technology in the Star Wars Films: Essays on the Two Trilogies (2006) and has published essays in The Journal of Popular Culture and Science Fiction Film and Television. His current projects interrogate the relationship between trauma and posthuman ethics in post–WWII literature and culture.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Moving Away from Myth: Star Wars as Cultural Artifact 1
PART I : CULTURAL CONTEXTS
1. The Fall of the Rebellion; or, Defiant and Obedient Heroes in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Individualism and Intertextuality in the Star Wars Trilogies 11
2. Apocalyptic Determinism and Star Wars 34
3. The Star Wars Trilogies and Global Capitalism 53
PART II : IDENTITY POLITICS
4. May the Force (Not) Be with You: “Race Critical” Readings and the Star Wars Universe 77
5. Feminism and the Force: Empowerment and Disillusionment in a Galaxy Far, Far Away 109
6. Seduced by the Dark Side of the Force: Gender, Sexuality, and Moral Agency in George Lucas’s Star Wars Universe 134
PART III : TECHNOLOGY AND THE PUBLIC IMAGINATION
7. Kill Binks: Why the World Hated Its First Digital Actor 155
8. “Your Father’s Lightsaber”: The Fetishization of Objects Between the Trilogies 175
9. The Emperor’s New Clones; or, Digitization and Walter Benjamin in the Star Wars Universe 189
Works Cited 219